This story was more about relationships than monsters. A sister, Jane, is tethered to her handicapped brother, Marty, and resents every minute of it—until they are bonded by fear and belief in a common enemy. Their Uncle Red is a Cavalier bachelor, who pretends to believe them, only to discover that they are, in fact telling the truth.
This monster defies reason and all who believe in logic. It appears to randomly pick its victims from the unfortunates in Tarker’s Mills.
Marty is setting off fireworks during the night on a bridge when the monster confronts him. He aims and sends a bottle rocket straight into his eye. When he tells Jane, she believes him and scours the town, looking for someone with an injured eye. When she almost defeated and thinks Marty is teasing her, she sees that Reverend Lowe has a patch over his eye. She goes into the parish garage and discovers a bloody bat of one of the monster’s victims.
Marty and Jane are able to convince Uncle Red that Reverend Lowe may be the killer. He tells their story to the local sheriff, who scoffs it off but later, decides to investigate. Sheriff Haller discovers all too late that Uncle Red is telling the truth and becomes another victim.
Uncle Red sends the children’s parents out of town and spends the night with them on the next full moon. They wait with a gun, which holds a lone silver bullet, which, according to legend, is the only thing that will kill a werewolf. The monster comes for them and it is finally revealed that Minister Lowe is, in fact, the werewolf when they kill it and it returns to his form.
King is a master at demonstrating dysfunctional relationships and this short story is among the best, which he wrote. The siblings appear to have a better relationship with Uncle Red than their parents. Their bond becomes tight after the werewolf is killed.